February 24, 1784 Dumfries, Scotland
February 27, 1843 (aged 59) British Hong Kong
Dr.William Jardine (24 February 1784 – 27 February 1843) was a Scottish physician and merchant who co-founded the Hong Kong based conglomerate Jardine, Matheson and Company, as well as a Master Templar of the British Rite of the Templar Order. Following his return to England from the Far East, between 1841 and 1843, he was Member of Parliament for Ashburton representing the Whig party.
Educated in medicine at the University of Edinburgh, in 1802 Jardine obtained a diploma from the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh. In the same year he became a surgeon's mate aboard the Brunswick belonging to the East India Company, and set sail for India. Captured by the French and shipwrecked in 1805, he was repatriated and returned to the East India Company's service as a ship's surgeon. In May 1817, he abandoned medicine for commerce.
Jardine was a resident in China from 1820 to 1839. His early success in Canton as a commercial agent for opium merchants in India led to his admission in 1825 as a partner in Magniac & Co., and by 1826 he controlled that firm's Canton operations. James Matheson joined him shortly afterwards with Magniac & Co. reconstituted as Jardine, Matheson & Co in 1832. After Imperial Commissioner Lin Zexu destroyed 20,000 cases of British-owned opium in 1839, Jardine arrived in London that September to press Foreign Secretary Lord Palmerston for a forceful response.
In February 27, 1843, He was murdered by Assassin Zhang Jie at his mansion.